Patterico's Pontifications

11/9/2009

Beltway Sniper Execution Scheduled for Tuesday

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:46 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Beltway snipers terrorized the Washington DC-Virginia area in September and October 2002. John Allen Williams aka John Allen Muhammad was convicted of capital murder in November 2003 and sentenced to death in March 2004. His teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, was also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison in December 2003.

Muhammad’s execution is set for Tuesday, November 10, 2009. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to halt Muhammad’s execution:

“Convicted D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad has lost his last appeal, opening the way for his scheduled execution in a Virginia prison on Tuesday.

Mr. Muhammad and his 17-year-old accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, terrorized the Washington region in September and October 2002 as they engaged in a series of apparently random sniper attacks.

In all, 16 individuals were shot. Ten died.

Muhammad was tried and convicted in Prince William County, Va., for capital murder in an act of terrorism and for engaging in at least two murders within three years. The case focused primarily on the Oct. 9, 2002, killing of Dean Meyers. Mr. Meyers was shot in the head while refueling his car at a Sunoco gas station in Manassas, Va.”

However, three liberal members of the Court expressed concern about the rapid pace of the Virginia death case:

“The court did not explain why it would not hear the case. But three justices – John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor – said they were concerned about the rapid pace of the Muhammad case. Rules in Virginia allow for capital cases to move through the state system faster than the time frame set out under federal law.

Justice Stevens said he would favor granting an automatic stay of execution in every death-penalty case before the high court to allow careful consideration of the issues. But Stevens wrote that having reviewed Muhammad’s claims, he would not dissent from the court’s decision to not hear the appeal.”

Muhammad’s last hope is a clemency petition pending before Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

— DRJ

81 Responses to “Beltway Sniper Execution Scheduled for Tuesday”

  1. I’m sorry, but 7 years later is not rapid enough. It’s 75 months too slow.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  2. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    finally, some good news.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  3. Rapid pace? YGTBFKM.

    Leave it to a liberal to bemoan that we aren’t taking long enough to execute a mass murderer.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  4. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m waiting with bated breath for Gov Kaine to commute his sentence. It would not surprise me in the least if this is what happens.

    Man, do I ever want to be wrong on this one!

    Bill M (c5889b)

  5. Sonia Sotomayor is going to fit right in up there. 7 years is not brisk… it’s tragically slow. If that much time is really needed to ensure a fair trial, so be it, but damn.

    We know this man was caught dead-to-rights. He is guilty and the crime is worthy of death. Judges should seek justice, but in this case, Sonia and her two friends are just seeking liberalism.

    If they have no actual complaint about the trial or appeals, then HOW DARE THEY criticize the process for taking 7 years instead of 27! Elections have consequences, and this was a major decision the country made. It will be with me longer than my next 3 cars.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  6. You guys just don’t understand progressive civil liberties. They’re trying to protect your rights, darn it! If you ever become a mass murderer for whom there is no doubt about actual guilt, you’ll appreciate the hyper-extended review process that Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Stevens want.

    Mike G in Corvallis (70f47e)

  7. Good ridance to bad rubbish!

    AD - RtR/OS! (7c0a4b)

  8. If you ever become a mass murderer for whom there is no doubt about actual guilt, you’ll appreciate the hyper-extended review process that Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Stevens want.

    If I ever so much as consider, even for a second, the idea that shooting random civilians (both women and children – children at school, no less), I swear to god I will eat a bullet.

    If you ever hear that I died with a pistol in my mouth, your first thought should be “thank god he killed himself before he got going”, not “what a shame”.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  9. Obama’s not going to grant this guy clemency at the last second tomorrow is he? Can he do that? Reduce the dude’s sentence to LWOP in the interests of justice, peace, hope, change and fluffy bunnies?

    It would go over great in the Muslim world and among people of color all over. I am also of the opinion that Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Rahm Emmanuel and Valerie Jarrett among others all have strong personal reservations about executing the Beltway Sniper.

    I’ll go a step further and posit that 99.999999% of the people closest to The President are staunch death penalty foes who will be saddled on
    everyone’s-a-victim-except-the-cops high horses all day tomorrow.

    Next to Obama, Michael Dukakis looks like Dirty Harry.

    mike d (c513a5)

  10. If you ever become a mass murderer for whom there is no doubt about actual guilt, you’ll appreciate the hyper-extended review process that Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Stevens want.

    Only in Corvallis could a comment like that originate.

    mike d (c513a5)

  11. Sorry, but I caught the snark tags the Corvallis dude put in his comment.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  12. “The court did not explain why it would not hear the case. But three justices – John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor – said they were concerned about the rapid pace of the Muhammad case.”

    And…Timmy McVeigh was convicted on On June 2, 1997 and executed on June 11, 2001, so the spokesmouths for the lefty feds can spare me the hogwash about the “time frame”.

    Dave Surls (10c957)

  13. I don’t think anyone has to worry about any politicians pardoning these guys. These guys have no power, influence, or money. Why would a politician, even a naive one, go through that kind of hell for no favors?

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  14. McVeigh was too fast and so is this one. Capital punishment is one of the abominations of America. The other is the gun violence.

    Why do conservatives favor these things?

    Here’s what I had to say about this disgraceful event.

    mikeb302000 (6127bb)

  15. Conservatives favor gun violence? Either that, or you favor trolling, in a pretty pathetic attempt to get your blog some attention.

    It goes without saying that nearly everyone who deserves the death penalty does not think normally, suffers from some kind of anger or paranoia or other issue, etc. But this man knew what he was doing was wrong. There’s really no doubt, when you look into his behavior. Regardless, he was entitled, and received, a full trial, a jury, an honest to goodness benefit of the doubt when we all knew he was guilty, and appeal after appeal for 7 freaking years of life while his victims were rotting away in the ground.

    You have absolutely nothing to say against his trial or appeals. You want to reverse the will of the jury, the legislature, the people, because, according to your blog, an area with more college educated people like the death penalty… but less than the rest of Virginia. That’s your argument. It sucks.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  16. I’ll drinking to his demise tonight. Too bad some nurse looking after Hasan can’t save us all the BS surrounding the upcoming circus of his prosecution and just take him out as well.

    FrankM (bbdff3)

  17. Comment by mikeb302000 — 11/10/2009 @ 1:02 am

    I favor killing murderers (and serial rapists and pedophiles, but that’s a different topic) because not once has a man that’s been executed gone on to kill again.

    Not so with the catch and release system the liberals favor.

    McVeigh did it. John Allen did it. That it has taken this long to end them is disgusting.

    He. Shot. Kids.

    You want him breathing your air?

    You fucking disgust me. Go back to whatever shit-hole you crawled out of, and die there. You’re the lambs at the slaughter, and you would welcome the wolf into your home.

    Comment by FrankM — 11/10/2009 @ 1:16 am

    I would never condone “accidentally” tripping over the power-cord to his respirator…

    But I sure wouldn’t cry much if you told me it happened.

    To paraphrase Clarence Darrow, I look forward to reading this pile of shit’s obituary with much joy.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  18. “Capital punishment is one of the abominations of America.”

    All countries have capital punishment, no exceptions.

    In civilized countries like America we’ll subject you to capital punishment if you commit a heinous crime like murdering a bunch of babies, or if you resist the authority of state.

    In stinking crapholes like the U.K. or France, which brag about how they’ve abolished capital punishment…even though they haven’t, resisting the authority of the state is the ONLY crime punishable by death. You can kill all the babies you want, and the worst you’ll get in these backward ass barbarian nations is three hots and a cot for life. Pull a gun on a cop though, or make the mistake of looking like a terrorist, and you’re purely fucked.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Charles_de_Menezes

    And, it’s people like you, the oh-so-civlized Euros, and the godawful systems you create that are the abomination, sport.

    Finally, the sooner the state of Virginia sends John Allen Muhammad to hell where he belongs, the better.

    Dave Surls (10c957)

  19. Conservatives want to execute people who use guns to commit murder (while liberals want to block their execution) is some how trolled to mean that conservatives favor gun violence?

    gahrie (9d1bb3)

  20. Given the Islamic fundamentalist beliefs Muhammad espoused and what happened last Thursday in Texas, there’s no way Kaine gets within 10 miles of commuting his death sentence. Do that, especially with the anger already that liberals care more about being nice to criminals than bringing justice to victims, and it would be just another strike against the party going into the 2010 midterms.

    John (d4490d)

  21. Too fast? He’s had a year longer than McVeigh did after sentencing. As with McVeigh, it’s onlty “too fast” if we get to spend the intervening time making him suffer as much as his victims (and the families of same) did.

    I’m not the biggest fan of the death penalty because mistakes DO get made and thus innocent people executed, and OOPS! is insufficient to the dead. But most of the time there’s no mistake at all and the evidence is certain. When it is, hang ’em. And don’t a decade or more to do it.

    Tully (4dce1a)

  22. What death penalty opponents fail to understand is there are those individuals who are beyond redemption, and present a continuing threat to society and must be removed.

    We’re far too quick in this country to sentence people to death – especially in certain states – but in this case it’s not even close to a question. Muhammed deserves to be executed just as he executed his victims.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  23. Does anyone here live in the South Bay? If you do, did you read the Daily Breeze article last week where a man was shot near Alondra Park? He apparently was on a drug binge for days and the cops showed up and he started firing. His family then immediately blamed the parole officer for not picking him up after he violated parole (I believe she was actually going to pick him up the next day with an armed officer – but does anyone believe the family would have turned him in? Psh) There is now a shrine for him. It’s how liberals and their victims act. It’s never their fault.

    Figures Sonia would come up with some BS excuse. Tim Kaine is liberal, so who knows? Perhaps he will grant clemency..but if you thought you saw outrage at any given TEA Party, there will TONS of outrage if this guys sentence is commuted.

    Audacity (2fd5ad)

  24. is this dirtbag dead yet?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  25. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a slow and public trial.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  26. said they were concerned about the rapid pace of the Muhammad case. Rules in Virginia allow for capital cases to move through the state system faster than the time frame set out under federal law.
    Only in America can seven years of belated justice be viewed as “rapid pace”. It’s disgusting. He did the crime. Killed innocent civilians and causing irreparable damage to many families. Now he wants clemency? What next? Oprah? Reminds me of that piece of sh*t named Charles Starkweather who after killing eleven people was so scared he would bleed to death after a glass cut his ear. It’s funny how murderers love to take lives and cringe at the thought of losing theirs. I wonder why……

    The Emperor (82e13a)

  27. We’re far too quick in this country to sentence people to death

    Care to substantiate this?

    JD (959071)

  28. From Catholic News (amongst many others):

    “[Curtis] McCarty is one of MORE THAN 125 WRONGFULLY ACCUSED people exonerated through DNA evidence from death row in the United States since the mid-1970s. He was convicted of the 1982 murder of Pamela Willis largely on the basis of fraudulent forensic evidence analyzed by Joyce Gilchrist, the chief forensic chemist for the state of Oklahoma.” [MY EMPHASIS]

    http://www.catholic.org/diocese/diocese_story.php?id=2718

    If this was just one of a few cases, it wouldn’t be an issue, but 125 shows a pattern.Yes, we are too quick to sentence people to death in the US. Inadequate representations, convictions on prison informants getting deals, improper witness IDs, etc. The list of reasons is long, but they are all inexcuseable.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  29. That has nothing to do with speed.

    JD (959071)

  30. #18, agreed, so far as reason prevails, but we’ve seen Dems openly pushing their agenda in the face of clear opposition from a majority of voters.

    Dems aren’t concerned they’re governing against the will of the people, Obama isn’t concerned he’s governing so far left of his campaign positions as to be unrecognizable. Democrats apparently don’t care what the American people expect. Democrats are on the march to collectivism and they aren’t going to let voters get in the way.

    This disconnect of elected representatives from the people they supposedly represent isn’t new, it happens frequently and in both parties, but this time is different in the magnitude and in the brazen “in your face” way Dems are denying and rejecting citizen protest, and in the way the White House is leading a jihad against dissenting voices, especially FOX NEWS.

    This isn’t politics as usual, and it’s a clear departure from the Constitutional provision of government “for the people.” This is authoritarian rule of the Democrat Party, for the Democrat Party, and by the Democrat Party.

    So, if Virginia Governor Kaine wants to slap Uncle Sam in the face, he might decide to use the execution as an excuse to demonstrate the power of the Dark Side. I don’t think he’ll do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

    ropelight (97100e)

  31. Make that #20, it was at 18 but not now.

    ropelight (97100e)

  32. Is justice stevens under the impression that this is a tough case. granted if we were talking about malvo the kid i can see a greater room for debate. i mean they had a creepy batman and robin thing going there, so yeah, a rational person might spare them and if memory serves the jury did. but john allen mohammed.

    nah, kill the bastard. and can we strap hasan from ft. hood to him as they juice him up.

    my only worry is that tim kaine will wimp out as he is about to leave office anyway and apparently has few options on the national stage.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  33. Curtis McCarty took the police to the body of 7 year old Janelle Fowler – she was raped and beaten to death with a baseball bat. He was given his freedom in exchange for her body which he admits he helped hide, and his testimony against his friend who he said killed her. He had a similar story at one time in the rape and murder of 19 year old Pam Willis. He at one time was saying he was there, but his friend killed her, not him. Maybe the fact that his semen wasn’t in her isn’t such a surprise when you think about that. He was also convicted of raping a 14 year old. Most of these people that are exonerated get out on technicalities.

    TruthRequired (36efdc)

  34. From the Innocence Project:
    “On December 10, 1982, 18-year-old Pamela Kaye Willis was found murdered in the Oklahoma City home where she was staying. Willis was nude and she had been stabbed and strangled.
    Curtis McCarty became a suspect because he was an acquaintance of the victim. Soon after the murder in 1983, Gilchrist compared hairs from the crime scene with McCarty’s and found that they were not similar. Police interviewed McCarty several times over the next three years, but he was not arrested until 1985. At that time, Gilchrist covertly changed her notes and reversed her findings, saying now that the crime scene hairs could have been McCarty’s. Attorneys for McCarty did not discover the change in Gilchrist’s notes until 2000, when she was under investigation for fraud in other cases.
    At McCarty’s trial in March 1986, the prosecution relied on the testimony of Gilchrist, an Oklahoma City Police chemist, who said that hairs from the crime scene could be attributed to McCarty. Based on the hairs, Gilchrist said McCarty “was in fact” at the crime scene. She also testified that McCarty’s blood type matched the blood type of sperm found on the victim’s nude body. Oklahoma City District Attorney Robert H. Macy commited misconduct in presenting the case to the jury witholding key evidence. The jury convicted McCarty and he was sentenced to death.
    McCarty was on death row for two years before Oklahoma’s highest court overturned his conviction due to prosecutorial misconduct, improper forensic procedures and comments made on the stand by Gilchrist. McCarty was retried in 1989 with Gilchrist again testifying for the state. The jury was again told that hairs from the crime scene could have come from McCarty. He was again convicted and sentenced to death.
    Macy, who led both prosecutions against McCarty, sent 73 people to death row during his 21 year career – more than any other prosecutor in the country. Twenty of those 73 have been executed.
    In 1995, an appellate court upheld McCarty’s conviction but ordered new sentencing due to a jury instruction problem in the second trial. A new jury heard four days of testimony in 1996 and handed down McCarty’s third death sentence.
    In 2000, Gilchrist was under investigation for allegedly reporting false forensic results in other cases. That same year, she was asked to re-examine the hair evidence on appeal and she said that it would be suitable for DNA testing. However, when defense attorneys asked her to produce the evidence, she said it had been lost or destroyed. These hairs have never been found. At the close of the investigation, Gilchrist was fired due to the forensic fraud she had committed in several cases. Her false testimony has contributed to two other wrongful convictions that were later overturned by DNA testing, those of Jeffrey Todd Pierce and Robert Miller. She testified in thousands of cases during her 20-year career.
    Attorneys for McCarty were able to secure DNA testing in 2002 on sperm recovered from the victim’s body, and test results showed that the sperm did not match McCarty. The Innocence Project became involved in McCarty’s case in 2003 and initially consulted with post-conviction attorneys Vicki Werneke and John Echols. In 2005, these attorneys won a new trial after an evidentiary hearing before judge Twyla Mason Gray, who ruled that Gilchrist’s misconduct and bad-faith destruction of evidence had tainted McCarty’s conviction. As a third trial was scheduled, McCarty was represented by the Innocence Project, along with attorneys Perry Hudson and Marna Franklin. In 2007, additional DNA testing showed that evidence recovered from scrapings of the victim’s fingernails was from a male and did not match McCarty. Further forensic analysis showed that a bloody footprint on the victim’s body could not have been McCarty’s. Based on this exculpatory evidence, as well as the misconduct by Gilchrist, McCarty’s attorneys moved to dismiss the charges before a third trial was held. On May 11, 2007, Judge Gray granted the motion and McCarty was released from state custody. Prosecutors did not appeal the decision.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  35. So, um, why are we talking about this mccarty dude? i mean assuming for the sake of argument that he is innocent, um so? john allen mohammed is guilty as hell and deserves to die and all the mccartys in the world won’t change that.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  36. The Washington Post insists that her departure is merely because it was only an interim position. Nowhere does the Washington Post mention her controversial praise of the bloodiest tyrant in world history, Mao Zedong.

    George (d57b1d)

  37. Dang! Did I just put that last comment on the wrong thread? It was supposed to go into an Anita Dunn thread. I don’t know what happened. Sorry about that.

    George (d57b1d)

  38. As someone who was actually affected by the DC Sniper, I say Happy Happy Joy Joy at the prospect of his execution.

    I didn’t know anyone who was killed or shot. I do live only a couple miles from Tasker Middle School where the kid was shot. I was regularly in Montgomery County in the spots where people were shot. Believe me when I say that we WERE affected. The random nature of the shootings were terrifying and rightly so.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  39. The reason we are talking about McCarty is people want to say the death penalty is wrong because innocent people could be put to death. They point to exonerations such as McCarty as proof, which is faulty in two ways. First, exonerations are people who are not put to death. They are determined not worthy of the death penalty for whatever reason. This proves our system works because an “innocent” person wasn’t put to death. Second, exonerations are primarily based on technicaliities. When you really look at the details of the cases and their backgrounds, you start to see that. The death penalty is right and just and the Beltway Sniper should be put to death. It is a shame it has taken so long to get this far.

    TruthRequired (36efdc)

  40. Some newsreader said that the execution is scheduled for 1830PT.
    Wherever we are at that time, we should make a toast to those who were lost to this monster,
    and to his speedy descent into Hell!

    AD - RtR/OS! (98a208)

  41. kudos to VA Governor Kaine who, true to his campaign pledge four years ago (which I didn’t believe), didn’t let his personal opposition to the death penalty keep him from letting justice be done.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  42. Execution set for Tuesday night… latest detailes on this case: http://www.35energy.com/news/Supreme-Court-rejects-sniper's-appeal.html

    James (1e16e2)

  43. I can feel it coming in the air tonight

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  44. “if we were talking about malvo the kid i can see a greater room for debate.” I don’t get it. Malvo committed most of the murders, didn’t he? And he is one twisted f*&ker too, judging by his artwork. One valid criticism of our capital punishment system is that it is capricious. In this case, both of the dirtbags should have been sentenced to death. (And the bodies defiled afterwards, but that’s just the way I roll.)

    gp (72be5d)

  45. Truth

    The more basic argument is this. there is no such thing as a zero failure system. But if the liberals don’t even want to be serious in the case of a terrorist, it kind of puts lie to their idea that terrorism can be handled as a criminal matter. i mean sheesh, liberals have been fucking up our justice system for over 40 years and now they suddenly declare it is so awesome that we ought to handle terrorism using it?

    Its all a shell game. they pretended to support the war in afghanistan while hating the war in iraq. they pretend to support a criminal justice approach while opposing a war approach. but in both cases it is a feint. they don’t actually support afghanistan, and once thrown into criminal justice then they will become just another criminal that they glamorize and speciously claim is innocent or at least doesn’t deserve to die. What it comes down to is they don’t want to actually DO anything about terrorism, period, for reasons i can’t fathom.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  46. gp

    personally i would like to see malvo dead too. i am literally only sayign what i said: it is more reasonably debatable to say he should be kept alive. but i don’t think he should be.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  47. Wasn’t Malvo underage when he committed the crimes? I mean, didn’t they have to make an exception to try him as an adult?

    Dr. K (eca563)

  48. “The more basic argument is this. there is no such thing as a zero failure system.”

    So, how many wrongful convictions are okay? What about if it was you?

    As for the technicality nonsense, the 125 number is for people who were CLEARED of a murder charge, not people who ‘got off on technicalities.

    JEA (d996cf)

  49. If they were not executed prior to being cleared, that kind of gives lie to your assertion that we sentence people to death too quickly.

    JD (c40e14)

  50. > So, how many wrongful convictions are okay?

    We give a person the benefit of a very high burden of proof before they are convicted. so whatever the failure rate is, i am satisfied.

    The alternative is leaving the bastards alive. Which is nuts. I mean for instance, say you put him in prison for life, and by life we mean really for life. Okay, then he kills an inmate or a guard. So… what do you do to punish him? Give him a second life sentence? Or just take away his pudding privileges? Some people are so evil there is not reform and there is no hope of control. you just have to put them down like dogs. Like Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Besides most people claiming to be anti-death-penalty aren’t really. imagine for instance, we discovered that miraculously hitler was alive. then we put him on trial. do we kill him? About 90% of so-called anti-death-penalty advocates faced with that question suddenly invoke the nazi exception. hell even isreal, which has its unique issues with state-induced death, when they got their hands on a nazi, made an exception to their anti-death-penalty rules for the bastard. but if you invoke the nazi exception, then you are not really anti-death-penalty, you are just against it under certain circumstances.

    And indeed the ultimate proof that this “some innocents are killed” meme is BS is that most of the innocents saved were exhonerated by DNA evidence. So even if those past convictions were unfair and DNA shows it, well, okay, but then why should we doubt the new convictions in this post-DNA era? it seems that going forward we should feel even better about our convictions.

    And the other sign that all of this “some innocents die” argument is BS is that there is no significant doubt to the guilt of John Allen Mohammed, but here you are invoking it anyway. Sheesh. So its a complete red herring.

    The fact is you are anti-death-penalty, to the extent you are, because you are bleeding heart. Of course that sympathy is myopic, given that you ultimately care more for the murderer who is currently alive than for the people he killed. And you are anti-death-penalty out of moral vanity; you just love the frission of feeling so evolved and superior to those cro-magnons who support the death penalty, etc. You feel this way even as you support a set of policies that actually result in more innocent deaths.

    On my first day in law school my professor had us read a case on damages. the lesson i took from it is that a right is only as valuable as the remedy. John Allen Mohammed violated the most sacred right of his victims: the right to live. And in seeking the ultimate remedy–the ultimate punishment–for that crime, we vindicate the value of the lives he stole from us.

    There is no higher, more important function of government than to protect our sacred right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, from all threats, domestic and foreign. Liberals would do well to remember that.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  51. JEA, I agree that it’s likely some unknown number of people have been executed while innocent. Far, far too many have been proven innocent for this not to be the case.

    But that case you posted was on of the technicality cases, not one of the ‘cleared’ cases. The version of facts is the defense’s, and I don’t think it’s 100% accurate. The state was sloppy and aggressive, and they blew their case against a monster. Which, perhaps, is also a death penalty for an innocent person.

    And JD has a point, this sniper is not being executed too quickly… it’s not about time. It’s frankly horrible that a person, sentenced to death, gets to live for many years. If there are no more complaints about the appeals or trial, then there was enough time.

    The innocence project is not a truth seeking organization. They are very much biased and will give information that is very incorrect. They really can’t be relied on any more than a DA who throws exculpatory evidence away could be.

    Another point: we don’t really trust the system enough for any alternative to the death penalty to be attractive. How many time has someone sentenced to life been released? Once a killer is dead, he won’t kill anymore… and it’s hard to trust the alternative when our ‘leaders’ release our killers.

    You asked ‘How many innocents executed is too many?’ 1, of course. And how many innocents killed by those released on technicalities is too many? 1, of course. We try really hard not to execute innocents, which is proven by the amazing fact that there are no proven examples of it despite a truly staggering effort to find one. It happens, it’s really damn rare, and we do not live in a perfect world.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  52. “The reason we are talking about McCarty is people want to say the death penalty is wrong because innocent people could be put to death.”

    Yeah, except McCarthy wasn’t innocent.

    McCarthy is a convicted rapist and murderer…and rightly so.

    Here’s a little information about this so-called “innocent man” that the scumbags at the Innocence Project and the bleeding hearts in the media don’t want you to know about.

    The appellant in question is Curtis McCarty…

    ‘When Appellant was twenty-two years old, he was charged with the first degree rape of a fourteen year old girl, P.N. The State later amended the charge to second degree rape. There was some dispute whether this amendment was due to P.N.’s credibility, pleas from P.N.’s family, or mere plea negotiations. Be that as it may, the information was amended, and Appellant eventually pled guilty to, and was convicted of, second degree rape.’

    ’24 At trial, the State called the rape victim to testify the rape involved the use or threat of violence. P.N. testified Appellant: “choked me so hard I could not breathe;” “ripped my clothes off;” “stuck his penis into my vagina;” “stuck his penis … into my anus;” “made me have oral sex with him;” made her have sex a second time; and said “if you do tell anybody, I’m going to kill you.”‘

    Sound like an innocent man to you?

    “36 We begin with the extremely complicated circumstances surrounding the non-prosecution agreement. Seven year old Janelle Fowler was murdered on or about September 17, 1983. David Osborne was arrested and charged with the murder the following day. Appellant was interviewed by authorities regarding the murder on November 16, 1983, and he implicated Osborne as the murderer at that time. Appellant showed authorities the approximate location of the child’s body on November 16, 1983, but told them he did not know exactly where the body was located. This was a lie. The following day, Appellant took a polygraph test regarding his involvement in the murder. The test results, which are not in the record, apparently indicated he had been truthful, except with respect to questions concerning his involvement in disposing of the child’s body. Following receipt of the polygraph results, Appellant led authorities to the body on November 17, 1983.”

    Sound like an innocent man to you?

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=ok&vol=/appeals/1998/&invol=1998okcr61

    McCarthy is a rapist and a murderer, not an innocent man wrongfully convicted.

    Innocent men aren’t involved in numerous rapes and murders, and don’t lead the police to the bodies of raped and murdered seven year old girls.

    Dave Surls (68aa16)

  53. Dave

    Are you sure that wasn’t Roman Polanski?

    (Sorry couldn’t resist.)

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  54. Better that one innocent man should die rather than a hundred guilty go free.

    We can prove the latter, but have yet to see proof of the former.

    AD - RtR/OS! (98a208)

  55. I don’t think the issue of wrongful conviction applies here, JEA. Unless that is not your point. Correct me.

    The Emperor (82e13a)

  56. If you ever become a mass murderer for whom there is no doubt about actual guilt, you’ll appreciate the hyper-extended review process that Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Stevens want.

    But what they want, or what I might want, isn’t the issue. The issue is what “due process” required, for a capital offense, at the time(s) of the ratification of the Constitution itself, the 5th Amendment, and (most specifically, in this context involving a state’s application of the death penalty) the 14th Amendment.

    Rick Ellers (890cbf)

  57. JEA….what does all that have to do with this? You think there is a remote chance this guy is innocent?

    buzz (06033c)

  58. “Are you sure that wasn’t Roman Polanski?”

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure about that.

    I’m also pretty sure about this. It happens, but it’s extremely rare that a truly innocent person is wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death, and there certainly isn’t any 125 cases of innocent people being wrongfully sentenced to death in America.

    That’s a total lie.

    Almost all those cases are cases like Curtis McCarty’s, cases where the people are obviously total lowlife scumbags, murderers and rapists, and where the media and anti-death penalty groups DELIBERATELY suppress information in order to try to paint a picture of some pure-hearted soul wrongfully accused and convicted by a bloodthirsty state.

    That’s why when you read stories about poor lil’ Curtis, the name Janelle Fowler is left out pretty much every single time.

    That’s because the murderer-lovers don’t care if the guy is guilty or not…all they want to do is make sure that the guy isn’t killed, and if they have to lie about the facts of the cases or lie about the people involved, or turn people like Janelle Fowler into non-persons…they’ll do it in a heartbeat.

    And if a rapist and a murderer walks free…so much the better as far as these quasi-human bleeding heart dirtbags are concerned.

    All of that, I’m absolutely sure of.

    Dave Surls (68aa16)

  59. Dave has it exactly right. Every word he says is true and I just couldn’t have said it better myself. These thug huggers will tell every kind of lie and ommission to further their cause. McCarty is hanging out now in coffee shops with young female students talking about his innocense. They are posting the videos on youtube. How scary is that?

    And, are you ready for Malvo to get out in 30 years? Because that’s where we’re headed. Thirty years from now people will be talking about how cruel a punishment life in prison is, especially for someone who went in at such a young age. That sort of talk is already going on in Europe. After they knock out the death penalty, they go for knocking out life in prison. Its the next progression.

    TruthRequired (36efdc)

  60. TruthRequired,

    The U.S. Supreme Court is already considering whether to ban life in prison for juveniles convicted of nonlethal crimes:

    The US Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that it is cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a juvenile offender to death. On Monday, the high court takes up two cases that seek to extend that same constitutional reasoning to the practice of sentencing juveniles to life in prison without any possibility of parole.

    The two cases, Graham v. Florida, and Sullivan v. Florida), constitute the latest fault line in the high court’s evolving Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.

    Advocates for juvenile-justice reform are hopeful that the court uses one or both cases to ban the imposition of life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of nonlethal crimes.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  61. What kind of nonlethal crimes do you get life in prison for as a juvenile? Probably the sort of things where you should be locked away for life I’d guess.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  62. Graham committed a series of home invasions while on probation for armed robbery. Sullivan raped (and also beat and robbed) a 70-year old woman.

    nk (df76d4)

  63. Anecdote about the death penalty.

    First (can’t remember the state involved) Murderer is sentenced to death. Then the Supreme Court in the late sixties finds the death penalty unconstitutional (despite the fact that it is specifically permitted in at least four passages) and his sentence is commuted to life w/o parole. Less than five years (early ’70s) later this inmate is taken to a mall at Christmas time for an unsupervised shopping outing. He is litteraly dropped off with other inmates at the front door. Unsurprisingly he does not come back when he is supposed to. IIRC this story was in the news as he was discovered and rearrested several years ago.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  64. Last night was another dark event for America. All you vengeance people are happy, even though you call it justice. That’s not justice, though, and it’s not civilized.

    mikeb302000 (6127bb)

  65. mike, you would be happy if this guy got life in prison, right?

    What’s the difference?

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  66. “JEA….what does all that have to do with this? You think there is a remote chance this guy is innocent?”

    No, I don’t. Mohammed deserved to die.

    And there are those like him who deserved to die: McVeigh, Bundy, Gacy.

    MY point was that the death penalty should be used with a bit more discrimination. When 125-some people have been proved innocent of the murders they were accused of – out of 1000-some people on death row – that tells me that we’re too quick to sentence someone to death. These people did not ‘get off on technicalities'; they were cleared of the crime completely. This is an error rate of over 10%. That, to me, is unnacceptable.

    It should be unacceptable to anyone with a conscience.

    JEA (0ccd61)

  67. You are going to need to show your work on that asspull, JEA. Comparing your alleged 125 proven innocent to the current # of people on death row seems a bit disingenuous, since the proper # for that denominator would be the # of people ever on death row.

    JD (494eed)

  68. mikeb: I believe his victims whould have a different take on his execution.

    Unfortunately, they could not be reached for comment.

    Dr. K (eca563)

  69. Have Blue

    > Then the Supreme Court in the late sixties finds the death penalty unconstitutional (despite the fact that it is specifically permitted in at least four passages) and his sentence is commuted to life w/o parole.

    That’s a popular gloss on events, and often received wisdom, but wrong. The supreme court merely said that specific procedures were required. Now, some thought that once they pretty much struck down all death penalty statutes, that they would never come back. but the states did bring them back and the supreme court found some procedures to be sufficient and we moved on.

    Mikeb

    > Last night was another dark event for America. All you vengeance people are happy

    See what I mean about the moral vanity involved in this anti-death-penalty position?

    I already pre-refuted your argument, here: http://patterico.com/2009/11/09/beltway-sniper-execution-scheduled-for-tuesday/#comment-580404

    JEA

    > When 125-some people have been proved innocent of the murders they were accused of – out of 1000-some people on death row – that tells me that we’re too quick to sentence someone to death. These people did not ‘get off on technicalities’; they were cleared of the crime completely. This is an error rate of over 10%. That, to me, is unnacceptable.

    Well, even assuming a basic accuracy, getting it right 90% of the time seems pretty accurate to me. And a 10% error rate doesn’t mean that the erroneous decisions were lightly arrived at. Obviously they gave a defense, pre-dna-testing and for some reason it was insufficient. Its easy in 20/20 hindsight to say, “clearly they were wrong,” but can you say given the facts presented at the time whether they were clearly wrong?

    But bluntly your formulation doesn’t sound accurate. I mean the formulation is usually something like this: better than n guilty men go free rather than one innocent man suffer. As one of the Volokh conspirators pointed out there is a lot of variation on “n” some saying better 10 guilty men go free than one innocent suffer, some saying 100 guilty men, etc. Personally I find any claim that we should free more than 10 guilty people to be excessive.

    But so how many guilty men went free? Well, indeed a lot of people have a mental block in even suggesting that a person acquitted might nonetheless be guilty. They would say, for instance, “OJ is innocent of murdering his wife and that tennis player.” And I would point out two facts to refute it: 1) there was never any question that their deaths were intentional, and 2) a civil jury found him responsible for those deaths. So we can say that OJ was acquitted, but guilty. So there is that. And how many other cases like that are there out there? My guess is that you have no idea. So you say there were 125 people who were actually innocent. And what if there were 125,000 people walking the streets who were actually guilty of a crime deserving the death penalty? So that would be 1000 guilty persons going free for each innocent cleared according to you. In that case the error rate doesn’t sound that bad.

    And as a practical matter we will never know. But I will say as a working attorney, juries deserve a lot more credit than you give them.

    > It should be unacceptable to anyone with a conscience.

    Ah, once again the moral vanity of the anti-death-penalty weenies rears its head.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  70. “Ah, once again the moral vanity of the anti-death-penalty weenies rears its head.”

    Excuse me, dumbass, but if you read my posts I never said I was anti-death penalty. In fact, I’m for it when the crimes – like this bastard’s – warrant it.

    And juries aren’t to blame for these wrongful convictions – prosecutors and the system are.

    Juries are lmited to acting as the judge instructs them. They act in the good faith that the defendant is getting an adequate defense, and the prosecutor is honest.

    When prosecutors are using inmate snitches, and questionable witness IDs, and forcing facts to fit their case, and withholding evidence in order to win convictions, that isn’t justice.

    And if you believe it is, then you, sir, aren’t fit to be a participant in our justice system.

    JEA (0ccd61)

  71. JEA

    > Excuse me, dumbass, but if you read my posts I never said I was anti-death penalty

    Right. If it walks like a duck and quacks like one, and so on. Look, if you were pro-death penalty, then why are you bringing up all this collateral sh-t in this case? You don’t deny that john allen mohammed was rightfully convicted. So what bearing does the claim that others are wrongfully convicted have on it? because you are trying to use this issue as a lever to get everyone spared death. Really you are so transparent.

    Look bud, I have seem the law reviews and reports where they basically tell the footsoldiers in the jihad against the death penalty to stress the claim that innocents are convicted too often. So you make that argument without even squaring the circle and giving us a complete enough picture to say what our relevant failure rate is, in a case where you can’t even deny that this creep was in fact rightfully convicted. But you aren’t just blindly spouting the party line, right?

    > And juries aren’t to blame for these wrongful convictions – prosecutors and the system are.

    Ah, infantilization of the juries because you don’t want to accuse them all of being bloodthirsty. So instead they are dupes. But that is a feint. You already said we were too quick to sentence a person to death. That is an accusation that the juries are getting it wrong.

    > When prosecutors are using inmate snitches,

    Because usually when bad guys admit to crimes they do so around a choir of nuns.

    > and questionable witness IDs,

    Questionable being anything that implicates anyone, I suppose.

    > and forcing facts to fit their case,

    How exactly does one force facts to do anything?

    Why do I get the feeling what you really are talking about is just what we call “making the argument.”

    > and withholding evidence in order to win convictions,

    Which happens just how often, really?

    > And if you believe it is, then you, sir, aren’t fit to be a participant in our justice system.

    Back to your stance of moral superiority. If you don’t agree with me, you should be purged! Disbarred! Run out of the profession. Because my position is so self evidently right no decent person can disagree.

    And notice you didn’t address any of my substantive points about the weakness of your numerical argument. Because you know of course that I just poked a giant hole in it and that you probably can’t actually repair it. So its all about hyperbole to cover up the fact that all of your arguments are irrelevant to this case.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  72. I’m sure your position would be the same if it was you in the defendant’s chair, right?

    I know something about the law too. Juries are only permitted to consider what is presented by the prosecution and defense in court. They’re not permitted to disregard the instructions of the judge.

    And it is prosecutors who decide what punishment they are seeking for a particular defendant according to existing laws.

    “And a 10% error rate doesn’t mean that the erroneous decisions were lightly arrived at.”

    I never said decisions were lightly arrived at; I know juries take their responsibilities seriously.

    If you’re going to sentence someone to death, you should have a stronger case than a jailhouse snitch, whose motivations are hardly pure, especially when we all know deals are made for testimony, or a shaky witness ID, which is exactly what many of the cases that have been dismissed have been based on.

    You seem to feel 10% wrong is okay. I don’t. You seem to feel more people should be executed. I don’t.

    And – yet again – I don’t oppose the death penalty. And who the hell are you to tell me what I believe?

    JEA (0ccd61)

  73. JEA

    > I’m sure your position would be the same if it was you in the defendant’s chair, right?

    I imagine if I was in the defendant’s chair I would want no possibility of conviction let alone execution, however deserving it might be. I mean I am pretty sure Jeffrey Dahmer would have preferred to be set free. Which is why we don’t let defendants make up the rules.

    > I know something about the law too. Juries are only permitted to consider what is presented by the prosecution and defense in court. They’re not permitted to disregard the instructions of the judge.

    Yes, and if you knew enough of the law, you would know that these are good things.

    > And it is prosecutors who decide what punishment they are seeking for a particular defendant according to existing laws.

    And the defendant doesn’t die unless the judge, the jury, the governor of the relevant state (or President in the case of federal crimes), as well as appellate courts, habeas corpus ad nauseam as applicable, all say thumbs up. But even then without even guessing at how many false negatives our system has, you determine there are too many false positives.

    > I never said decisions were lightly arrived at

    Nah, you just said they were arrived at too quickly and based on evidence that was, in your mind, insufficient.

    > If you’re going to sentence someone to death, you should have a stronger case than a jailhouse snitch, whose motivations are hardly pure, especially when we all know deals are made for testimony,

    As any competent prosecutor would say, “that goes to weight and not admissibility.” Seriously, do you think that the defense attorneys are unaware of these problems? Its amazing how the second guessers always think they know better than everyone else—better than the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, the defense counsel and so on. To hear the second guessers talk, everyone thinks that jailhouse snitches are as pure as new fallen snow except for you second guessers who think you have some kind of insight by mentioning their self-interested motives.

    I assure you that every lawyer who is intelligent enough to dress and feed himself knows this.

    Care to state any other blindingly obvious facts that everyone knows? This just in! Gravity pulls downward! The sun is hot! Sheesh.

    The answer is that the jury knew of that inmates biases, took it into account and found against the defendant anyway. Sheesh.

    > or a shaky witness ID,

    OMG, another revelation. The second guesser who was not there to hear the person testify knows the quality of the testimony better than the people who were actually there. Here’s a hint: just because an outcome was wrong, doesn’t mean that the trial was unfair.

    I mean, crap, you haven’t even defined “shaky” or what was done to shore it up. Typically if there is any question to the value of an identification, the witness is asked to do the identification in court. And yes the defense counsel knows all the attacks to make after that, and the jury will look at the witness and decide whether to believe them.

    Oh and please don’t say, “oh, but this defense attorney in this case didn’t ask the witness about X.” That is a strategic decision generally based on knowing what the answer to the question will be and knowing it will harm more than help.

    > which is exactly what many of the cases that have been dismissed have been based on.

    And many that were right on the money were based on, too. So are these “shaky” IDs and snitch testimonies more likely to be right or wrong? You have no idea.

    > You seem to feel 10% wrong is okay. I don’t.

    10% is your number, not mine. As I pointed out you haven’t actually proven that failure rate.

    But hypothetically, you bet your ass 10% is enough.

    > You seem to feel more people should be executed. I don’t.

    In Kennedy v. Louisiana, a man raped his own 8 year old daughter, so violently he ruptured the wall between her vagina and her anus, so hard that she will never have children. Afterward he told people his daughter had become a woman. In that case, the Supreme Court said it would be unconstitutional to execute him because he didn’t kill her. And one only has to read the Alito dissent to realize who specious their argument truly was.

    Yeah, I can think of at least one more person who should be executed who won’t be. And I am not at all ashamed to say that. I am sure you think I am uncivilized to say that, but I think we are uncivilized to allow a man that vile to live.

    > And – yet again – I don’t oppose the death penalty.

    Nah, you just ape the anti-death-penalty talking points when by your own admission none of your arguments actually apply to the instant case. I mean, my god, you haven’t said a word that actually applied to John Allen Mohammed. I’m sure that is a coincidence.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  74. I wanted to thank those of you who took the time to mention Janelle Fowler by name. Except for the Fuhrman book, I have not seen anyone else except me say her name for over 25 years.

    TruthRequired (36efdc)

  75. Dustin asked me this:

    mike, you would be happy if this guy got life in prison, right?

    What’s the difference?

    For me the difference is huge. I can’t accept the contradiction inherent in telling people “don’t kill” and then killing them when they disobey. The fact that some chance of executing an innocent and that it’s too costly and that it discriminates against minorities and the poor are all secondary reasons for me. My reason is to avoid the moral inconsistency.

    mikeb302000 (6127bb)

  76. I can’t accept the contradiction inherent in telling people “don’t kill” and then killing them when they disobey.

    Let me fix that for you. We are telling people “don’t murder” and then executing them when they disobey. There is a huge, HUGE difference between killing and murdering. And the chasm widens exponentially when comparing execution and murder.

    There, problem solved in less than 2 minutes.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  77. I am amazed that anyone would say there is equivalence between the justice system executing a murderer, and the actual murders. But that’s a typical line.

    There is no moral inconsistency. It is wrong to murder; it is not wrong to kill murderers. Saying they are the same thing is nihilistic.

    I find the argument that we might kill an innocent to be more persuasive and intelligent.

    Besides, it is wrong to kidnap someone, and lock them in a cell for 50 years. So is it also wrong to send a man to prison? It is wrong to force your neighbor to pay you part of his check, at gunpoint, every month, but it is not wrong to expect people to pay taxes. This line of reasoning is the absence of morality… not a reflection upon it.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  78. Dustin

    You know i was with you until you said this:

    > It is wrong to force your neighbor to pay you part of his check, at gunpoint, every month, but it is not wrong to expect people to pay taxes.

    Wait, you mean with we accept Mikeb’s argument that leads to the abolition of all taxes.

    Okay i know there is a reason why that is still a bad idea, but its just not coming to me right now.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  79. mikeb90210 does not make an argument, A.W. He is arguing with caricatures in its head. And JEA never even attempted to address the mathematical problems that you and I pointed out. That would get in the way of his Innocence Project talking points.

    JD (3b62be)

  80. JD

    i know its hard to tell in bare text, but my last comment was about 90% a goof and nothing more.

    and yeah, JEA got pretty badly b—-h slapped.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  81. Mmm, JEA has shut up for hours now. i will cautiously say “i work here is done!” heh.

    A.W. (e7d72e)


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